Motorists considering a self-drive Summer holiday to the UK or continental Europe next year could be amongst the first to travel on the new €144 million, 55,000 tonnes cruise ferry now being built in Germany and due for delivery here next year.
Said by their managing director, Andrew Sheen to be a vessel that will raise ferry travel to ‘a level of luxury never before available in the market here’ it will be the biggest ferry ever on the Irish Sea. On-board, it will have space for 1,885 passengers and crew, 440 cabins including suites with their own private balconies, and almost 3km lanes of car deck space.
Spread over four decks, passenger accommodation will include luxury suites with views out to sea from their own private balconies, as well as a choice of deluxe and standard class accommodation.
An exclusive Club Class lounge with private passenger access direct from the vehicle decks, á la carte and self-service restaurants, cinemas, a shopping mall and a choice of bars and lounge space are amongst the other goodies that will be provided. Facilities exclusive to freight drivers will be provided while pets will also enjoy their own dedicated facilities.
Currently, suggestions are being invited from the public as what the name of the new vessel should be. In line with others in their fleet, a literary name would appear to be the preferred option. A website (<http://www.bigshipbigname.com/ >) has been established to receive entries for which free travel for life on their services is amongst the prizes being offered.
Photo Caption: Pictured at the launch of the competition was Irish Ferries head of passenger sales, Dermot Merrigan. With him is well-wisher Robyn Byrne from Malahide.